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by Katerina (Katina) Mountanos June 14, 2021 0 Comments

The Inquisitive Olive: Laurel Gallucci

Sweet Laurel is a baking company that we love here at Kosterina because they use only real, organic ingredients in their baking. They offer tons of options for keto, paleo, dairy-free and gluten-free indulgences. We were so excited to interview founder Laurel Gallucci for The Inquisitive Olive and loved learning that she is half Greek(!) and has a live in gua-sha trained husband. She’s devoted her life to creating healthy, better-for-you indulgences and all we can say is thank you! (Best news ever: Their vegan cookie dough can be eaten uncooked!) And since we’re addressing all the most important things up top, here is a link to the Sweet Laurel must-have apron we recommend for all hostesses. Please enjoy our interview with Laurel here.

Laurel Gallucci is the Co-Founder + CEO of Sweet Laurel Bakery, which she founded after becoming frustrated with the diet restrictions imposed on her (particularly around baked goods) after becoming diagnosed with an aggressive autoimmune disorder. Now she turns out grain-free and refined sugar-free sweets that are tender, moist, and full of flavor. She is the Co-Author of Sweet Laurel Cookbook and Sweet Laurel Savory. You can find Sweet Laurel Bakeshop IRL in Pacific Palisades, CA.

Wife, Mother, Baker + Educator

Find Laurel online: @laurelgallucci @sweetlaurelbakery sweetlaurel.com

QUICK PICKS

Favorite food?Lightly sautéed leafy greens with olive oil and pink salt. I eat this every night with dinner!

Favorite self-care treatment?Gua Sha–husband has been fully trained and does this for me.

Favorite yoga pose?Shavasana after a good flow.

Favorite place to travel?I’m a native California girl and adore road trips around the state. There are so many beautiful places!

Favorite part of your day?Unwinding after a long day with my husband when our kids are sleeping.

SELF

What’s your passion? What makes you feel most alive?

I love creating nourishing food for people to enjoy that is satisfying, delicious and beautiful.

Where do you live, and what do you love about your home/hometown?

Los Angeles, CA. I’m a third generation Angeleno, and I love the history in this town, and the beach of course!

You’re an expert—that’s why we’re interviewing you. Tell us about your wellness journey and credentials. 

I began healing through food in 2014 and never looked back. I removed grains, refined sugar and dairy from my diet to heal from an autoimmune disease. I began Sweet Laurel along the way with my creative partner, Claire Thomas, and the rest is history!

What inspired you to pursue your area of expertise? 

When I saw how nourishing and delicious grain free, refined sugar free and dairy free food could be–I had to share it!

Drop us with some knowledge. What’s the one fact, insight, or story about your area of expertise you’d like to share?

It may sound daunting to make a significant lifestyle change with your diet. The fact is, there are so many resources out there these days. We pride ourselves in educating and inspiring our community with the tools they need to re-create deliciousness at home.

Is there a wellness myth you can bust for us?

Gluten Free does not mean it is healthy. Oftentimes it is filled with other gums, fillers and sugar you don’t want! That is what Sweet Laurel does differently - gluten free that is healthy, too. It is truly the feel good option.

CULTURE & RELATIONSHIPS

What values did the people you consider family instil in you?

Gratitude, Honesty, Patience, Kindness

What’s your cultural or ethnic heritage, and how does your background inform your approach to wellness?

I am half Greek, and then ¼ English ¼ Czech. I would say my body naturally loves an Mediterranean diet. I do well with good fats like olive oil, I put it on everything! My approach to food is somewhat old world, in that less is more, meaning the fewer ingredients the better. This is why Sweet Laurel’s approach to food is so wholesome and wellness centered.

How do you balance the responsibilities of family life (to kids, partners, parents, or others) with self-care?

I work a lot...so the time I spend with family and on self care are very intentional and literally scheduled. That is the only way it happens! Spending time with my family fuels me.

MIND

What’s your favorite place to unwind?

The beach

Tell us about a time when you didn’t feel well—physically, emotionally, or spiritually. What action steps did you take to heal?

When I was first diagnosed with my autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s, I was so sick and lost all my energy. My body's systems went offline completely. I wasn’t digesting nutrients, was not ovulating and had trouble walking up a stair case. When my doctor turned me onto the idea of healing through food, and removing grains, gluten, refined sugar and dairy, I noticed a huge change in my well being.This is what led to Sweet Laurel!

BODY

Take us with you on a grocery shopping trip. What’s always in your cart (real or virtual)?

We get a weekly produce box, more like boxes because we eat so many veggies, from Farm Fresh to You, an organic, California grown produce box. The other items we get from our local health food store. I cook and bake a lot as you can imagine, and Sweet Laurel is always on the menu.

What’s the one ingredient or spice you can’t live without? Why?

Cacao. My favorite food by far. I eat bean to bar 100% cacao every day!

Say you only have 10 minutes to squeeze in a workout. What do you do?

A very brisk walk.

How do you stay the course when you’re not feeling motivated?

I just try to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. For family time, you can find us at the beach, on a hike, gardening or playing in the yard!

Katerina (Katina) Mountanos
Katerina (Katina) Mountanos

Olive Oil Sommelier, Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean lifestyle and eating for health and longevity.



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